1. The liver
Often when we think of cleansing, our liver springs to mind. Responsible for processing everything we consume and produce within the body, the liver is essential for optimal detoxification and rejuvenation. With two detoxification pathways, both phase one and two must be activated for proper detoxification. Consuming cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts as well as sulphurous foods such as garlic, onions and artichokes, can assist in both phases of detoxification. Antioxidant fruit and vegetables such as blueberries and beetroot help to protect the liver from free-radicals created during the detoxification process; and liver-cleansing herbs such as dandelion and milk thistle support the liver and aid detoxification.
2. The digestive system
If you have suffered from one of the many circulating seasonal infections this winter your friendly gut bacteria may need some attention; especially if you have had a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics, poor dietary choices and even alcohol can deplete gut bacteria and effect both digestion and bowel elimination. Replenish bacteria with pre-and-probiotics to cleanse your gut and restore the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria. Eating fibre-rich foods (fruit, vegetables, legumes) alongside drinking plenty of water will ensure efficient bowel elimination and aid the removal of toxins. Looking after your digestive system will see you step into spring with more energy and a stronger immune system.
3. The nervous system
Many people are living in a constant ‘fight or flight’ mode, where stressors (both big and small) allow for a perpetual release of the hormones adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones create a constant cycle of fatigue and irritability and can ultimately lead to adrenal fatigue. It is important to calm the nervous system to maintain a balance between the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ and parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ nervous systems. It is during ‘rest and digest’ that our bodies function best and allow for proper digestion, absorption of nutrient and elimination of toxins that act as physical stressors on the body. If you are finding it hard to turn off, and you suspect you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, find out how to replenish the nervous system here.
4. The skin
The skin is not only our largest organ, it is also our largest elimination pathway, and one area possibly neglected the most during detoxification. Every day we load our skin with moisturisers, creams and sunscreens; the protective barrier fights off microbes that would otherwise cause us harm; all while the skin provides constant regulation of our temperature and fluid balance. Because of the stress it is placed under every day, the skin needs a huge amount of support to ensure elimination pathways are open. Skin brushing and sauna’s can help to open pores; Epsom salt baths can directly help to detoxify and drinking sufficient water not only helps to hydrate the skin but aids the removal of toxins through the body and out through the pores.
5. The mind
Although spring cleaning often evokes the thought of decluttering our homes, the same principle can be applied to our minds. Every day we over-stimulated. Whether it is our electrical devices, work deadlines, family demands, or the pressure to be on top of absolutely everything, the modern lifestyle demands our constant time, attention and energy. When detoxifying the body, it is also a good idea to cleanse the mind. A meditation practise can help with this, and the concept of meditation is not as daunting as it seems. It is important to find a practise that suits you, whether it is taking a few minutes a day to calm our minds through reflection, breathing practises or listening to calmative music. Meditation can also help to reduce cortisol, reduce blood sugar levels and relax blood pressure; allowing the body to operate more effectively so that you can achieve more. An exercise regime such as swimming, yoga, or Pilates, can also help to de-clutter the mind as you focus on the task at hand, while natural endorphins are stimulated, making you feel both relaxed and energised.
Spring is the perfect time to reflect on the year so far, assess your goals and re-center the body and mind. Simple lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on opening detoxification pathways and cleansing the body. Spring cleaning these 5 key body parts can benefit your system, as a whole, putting the spring back into your step and creating a fresh start for the new season.